A writing coach and commentator for opinion pages, Mr. Lanson joined the journalism faculty at Emerson as chair in 1999 after four years on the faculty at Syracuse University. He returned to teaching full time in 2005.  Mr. Lanson is a former Deputy City Editor and Peninsula Bureau Chief of the San Jose Mercury News in San Jose, California.

He was part of the city-desk staff awarded a Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Loma Prieta earthquake. He is the author or co-author of three writing books, most recently "Writing for Others, Writing for Ourselves" (2011, at www.jerrylanson.com).  He has coached staff at newspapers ranging from The Christian Science Monitor to The Boston Globe and at university news services, including Stanford in 2011.  He contributes regularly to online opinion pages. Among his honors are a National Teaching Award from the Poynter Institute  and a Gold Key teaching award from Emerson  in 2008. His areas of interest include ethics and the craft of writing.



B.A., Haverford College
M.A., University of Missouri, Columbia

Areas of Expertise

  • Journalism
  • Marketing
  • Media Ethics


Writing for Others, Writing for Ourselves